Dinosaur of the week: Common Ringed Plover

plover

Small birds and waders are tricky to catch, and small wading birds in full camouflage even more so. I almost overlooked this Charadrius hiaticula which I encountered around sunset some years ago on the west coast of Scotland.

Among other issues this migratory species is threatened by petroleum pollution and wetland drainage for irrigation. We really need to get on with the Half-Earth project and population control of Homo sapiens.

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Dinosaur of the week: European Robin

robinThis Erithacus rubecula had made its home somewhere on the west coast of Scotland. The robins I’ve encountered in Scotland and England were a lot less shy than the ones in continental Europe.

The species is hunted around the Med, but generally the numbers seem to be on the rise.

Dinosaur of the week: Rook

rookThis Corvus frugilegus and I met a couple of years ago in Scotland, on a beach near St. Andrews. These highly intelligent birds face the threads of losing habitat because of extensive agriculture, of losing food because of mercury coating on seeds and the use of pesticides, and of losing their life because stupid humans shoot them (http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22705983/0).

Linlithgow Palace

Linlithgow palace‘On its lovely site overlooking the loch it remains, still beautiful, standing in emptiness and ruin, its walls and rooms open to the sky. […] Linlithgow makes me hope there may be a day when some humans will no longer think it desirable, or even acceptable, to kill one species in order to protect another, specially nurtured, carefully bred for the sole purpose of being shot for sport.’

(Esther Woolfson, Corvus: A Life with Birds, Granta)